Education (Childhood Studies) - MA

Attendance:
Full Time, Part Time
Starting:
September 2017
Fees:
£5,900 for UK/EU Full Time 2017 entry (view all fees)
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If you’re a teacher, lecturer or trainer in Early Years, or working in an Early Years setting who is keen to boost your professional qualifications and knowledge, this course is for you. It may also appeal if you’re someone who is simply interested in the field of education and have recently completed a degree in Early Years, Education Studies, Social Work or a related subject area.

What's covered in the course?

Highly flexible, this course is an attractive option if you want the opportunity to study without having to give up your job. Our Education Master’s framework allows you to choose your own path by selecting the core modules, area of specialisation and optional modules, that way you can tailor your study to suit your needs and areas of interest.

The modules available explore current issues in education, leadership and management, change and improvement, as well as a flexible portfolio, reflection and research opportunities, leading to a final dissertation.

Why Choose Us?

  • You don't need a Bachelor’s degree to do this course, but you do need professional experience.
  • This recognised qualification will help you to meet a variety of Continuing Professional Development requirements.
  • We’re proud of our high employability rates, with 98 per cent of the School’s postgraduate students in employment or further study six months after their course (DLHE survey results 14/15).
  • If you're thinking of changing your career for a move into teaching please be aware that this course doesn't lead to qualified teacher status.
  • You can use evidence of previous study or relevant experience to claim Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).
  • You'll be able to develop professional knowledge, skills and understanding in your practice, which will support you to offer consistently excellent teaching.
  • You can use this course to put you at the forefront of professional practice in your specialist field or subject. This will enable you to help your students to succeed.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Saturday 4 November 2017, between 12 and 3pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Book your place now

This course is open to International students

New £10,280 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,280 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

Applicants should have a degree or equivalent qualification, or professional experience that equates to degree level.

All suitably-qualified candidates will normally be interviewed, though this can take place by phone if necessary.Selection will be based on ability to benefit from and contribute to the course of study.

Exemption from some modules may be granted for appropriate prior learning.

We welcome applications from mature students and from members of communities traditionally under-represented in higher education.

International students
Essential

If you are an international applicant you must provide us with a copy of your Good Conduct certificate as you may undertake supervised visits during the course.

International Students

Entry requirements here

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2017 FT 1 year £5,900
PT 2-4 years £656 per 20 credit module

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MA Sep 2017 FT 1 year £12,000

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements

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*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

PgCert and PgDip stages

This pathway of the MA Education aims to address the learning needs of education professionals working in a variety of settings. It forms part of the School's Taught Master’s Framework so you may find it useful to familiarise yourself with the range of modules available within the framework first.

Taking the Childhood Studies pathway means you will undertake three core modules that all MA Education students take along with three specific option modules. You will then have a one module choice which you will negotiate with your Course Director and select from those available as part of the MA Education framework.

 
Modules as follows:
Introduction to Master's-Level Study (CORE)
20 credits

This module focuses on your transition to level 7 work. The transition is important because although a typical taught Master’s programme can look very similar to its undergraduate equivalent there are a number of important differences, such as the greater emphasis on your ability to undertake independent, self-directed study. This is true for all taught units, not just the dissertation project that concludes a typical Master’s programme; we will expect you to prepare for assignments by independently researching your particular areas of interest and experience.

Critical Issues in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
20 credits

For this module you will examine the societal issues of class, gender, race, sexuality, age and disability, with an emphasis on the equality, diversity and Inclusion agenda in educational policy and practice. You will engage in a critical and challenging exploration of the principles informing equality, diversity and inclusion across the education sector in the UK and internationally. 

Dimensions of Childhood and Youth
20 credits

This module offers a critical and interdisciplinary, integrated practice approach to childhood and youth studies.  During the module you will cover childhood and youth issues relating to your own practice, which could include family; law; children’s rights; childhood as a social construct; children’s participation in society and the issue of children’s voice and multi-cultural childhoods, within a national and worldwide context.

Urban and Community Education
20 credits

Urban and community education represent some of the most exciting and dynamic fields in education today. The module focuses on the ways broad structural factors - such as poverty, race relations, and globalisation - influence the conditions of education in urban and community settings and how students, families, educators, and how community members experience policies and practices educational in urban schools, colleges and higher education institutions,  as well as community educational organisations such as non-profits, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and advocacy organisations. 

Professional Enquiry
20 credits

This module forms an introduction to active reflection on an aspect of professional practice in the workplace. It is designed to build on the Research at Masters Level module and many students may choose to carry out the research covered in the proposal that they created for that module.

The module develops your ability and confidence to carry out a small-scale, practice-led/work based professional learning, which can be critically reflected upon and evaluated with regard to your professional development in teaching and learning or management.

Master's-Level Research (CORE)
20 credits

Doing a Master’s degree involves many skills, which will be familiar from an undergraduate programme of study; however, there are some crucial differences. This core module is designed to introduce you to the principles of educational research at Masters level encouraging you to build on your experiences of conducting independent research. The module covers everything you need to know in order to conduct research effectively.

Master's stage

Dissertation (CORE)
60 credits

This is the culmination of your Master’s programme. It provides you with the opportunity to develop a systematic understanding of research in relation to your chosen area, and to develop your professional practice through the processes of educational research. You will be encouraged to use self-direction and originality in pursuing your development focus through this independent piece of independent research.

Course structure

The course aims to give you a postgraduate qualification, whether you’re interested in early years, primary, secondary further or higher education. You don’t need a degree to do it if you have the relevant experience.

Our MA Education (Childhood Studies) provides exit awards at Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits).

You could use evidence from previous study, which relates to this subject, to claim Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning (APEL). This process involves mapping evidence against the learning outcomes for specific modules. You’ll need to speak to the Course Director first if you’re considering this option.

We use a variety of teaching and learning methods on this course. You’ll attend regular lectures and seminars, where students can share their learning and develop an understanding of different international contexts.

You’ll attend some whole classes and small group sessions and benefit from one-to-one support and online collaboration – using our virtual learning system, Moodle.

Our course team has a wide experience of the educational system and also in teaching, leadership and research.  

We believe the development of transferable skills is a priority. It is a very important aspect when teaching at Masters level. We are regularly praised by external examiners for providing an excellent experience in this area.

Teaching breakdown

Time in lectures or seminars: 10 per cent

Time spent on independent study: 90 per cent

Assessment breakdown

There are no examinations on this course. Instead 100 per cent of assessment is through coursework.

Our full-time course starts in September each year and our part-time courses start in September and January each year. We'll offer you a structured route tailored to your professional needs. During your studies you'll gain valuable skills, knowledge and understanding relevant to the educational context you chose to study.

Your pattern of attendance will be determined by the pathway you chose and whether your course is full-time or part-time. However, a 20 credit modules typically involve at total of 200 study hours, made up of:

  • Tutor contact: 20 hours
  • Faculty-based directed tasks: 50 hours
  • Independent study time (student-led): 130 hours

Again, these hours may vary between modules and pathways and the number of participants choosing to study particular modules.

Further study

Once you've graduated from this course, you could decide to do further research.

We have a thriving research programme. Your options include studying for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or a Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) qualification.

We welcome enquiries from teachers who want to do research into any aspect of education practice or policy, whether this is related to early years, primary, secondary or higher education or lifelong learning.

Enhanced Employability Skills

This course will give you a foundation for a career in many different educational settings, both public and private, in the UK or abroad.

It's also suitable if you want to change career direction. This is because it provides a comprehensive international overview of teaching, learning and educational systems - although it doesn't give you Qualified Teaching Status (QTS).

You'll develop important transferable skills in scholarly studies, research skills and practice. These will prove useful when you find yourself working as part of a team, or having to handle lots of data.

Placements

Some pathways within MA Education include opportunities to undertake voluntary work experience in local schools and other educational institutions. There is also a Placement Experience module which can be used to gain credits for experiences like this as part of your studies.

This module provides opportunities for you to undertake a work experience in educational settings as part of your programme of study. You will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced teachers and other education professionals to develop your knowledge, understanding and skill in the classroom and/or the wider school environment.

It will help you understand that professionals who continue to learn themselves, recognise that continual development can positively impact their own and others learning experiences.

You can complete this module at any time during the academic year and the number of days to be completed will be negotiated with individual module tutors and the programme team.

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Preparing you for the future

The master’s programmes within this framework aim to prepare you to become a creative, confident, technologically-competent and forward-looking individual who has developed the skills of research, reflection and critical evaluation and is aware of the local, national and global themes, issues, policies, ideology and philosophy that effect professional practice within your chosen field.

The development of autonomous professionals is central and participants should be in a position to analyse, synthesise and evaluate information from diverse sources in order to inform their professional development. They should also be able to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in their discipline and be able to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses. These programmes provide a safe space where you can engage in critical academic enquiry and risk taking. 

In addition to this, you'll develop the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility, decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations, the ability to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of incomplete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Graduate Jobs

There's a growing recognition of educational practitioners who have studied at Master's level. Many of our students gain career progression opportunities, having demonstrated enhanced knowledge, skills and confidence.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

A fly through of the £41 million expansion of our City South Campus. It will provide specialist laboratories and teaching spaces for the new life sciences courses and a new home for the School of Education.

 
Science education facilities

Our laboratory and Science Education Learning Room have been newly built for the start of the 2015/16 academic year. The Science Education Lab will enable trainees to encounter and explore the latest Science Education pedagogies, and together with the Science Learning Room will facilitate trainees’ transition from “subject expert” to “expert subject teacher”. Trainees will work in a fully hands-on way with the core science education materials to develop excellent subject and pedagogic knowledge - the twin attributes of the outstanding teacher.

Campus

City North is a big, bustling campus, three miles north of Birmingham city centre. It's easy to get to and offers on-site parking. Located 5 minutes from Perry Barr train station, City North Campus is also ideally positioned along major bus routes.

The School of Education will be moving to City South Campus in Edgbaston during the 2017/18 academic year.

City south 1

New developments

Our new development at City South Campus will ensure students have access to the best facilities, including our specially developed replica classrooms with interactive whiteboards, enabling you to experience the classroom environment.

Departments

All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Education
  • Music
  • Drama

IT Support

Each student has a personal computer user name and server space Specific software for use by teachers and for use in classrooms.

Other items available include:

  • Training and training notes
  • Students can borrow cameras, LCD projector
  • Specialist technician support
  • Dedicated research base for postgraduate research students

Art and Design Department

There are fully equipped art studios suitable for 3D construction, printmaking, drawing and mixed-media. For textile and ceramics specialists, there are sewing machines and facilities for batik work and a large kiln for firing ceramics. The department has an ICT Suite for digital media that includes both Mac and PC computers. There is also access to a bank of Apple iPads for on and off-site digital working including the use of social media.

Design and Technology Department

The department has access to specialist facilities, including a dedicated teaching suite for food and textiles. The textiles area has 10 sewing machines, an overlocker, CAD/CAM embroidery machines, dye sublimation equipment, a felting machine and an electronic microscope that links to the interactive whiteboard. It is also well resourced with surface decoration and construction equipment.

The food area has five electric cookers, combination microwave/ovens, an extensive range of industrial and domestic equipment, eg industrial ice cream makers and electric pasta makers, bench top printer and a CAD/CAM icing printer. The specialist tutor is a Speed Step and basic food hygiene trainer.

There is a specialist room for design and technology teaching and independent work, as well as a well-stocked reference library that contains a wide range of resources that are relevant for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Other features include a recycling materials area, specialist work benches and a bank of computers linked directly to CAD/CAM equipment.

History Department

There are plenty of replica artefacts in the department and other superb facilities, including a huge library of dedicated subject books and an interactive whiteboard. We also inspire our trainee teachers to bring history to life by offering them opportunities to travel to historic sites.

English Department

The School of Education has two dedicated English teaching rooms that contain a substantial children's collection of works including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, picture books and multicultural text. There is also a selection of phonics teaching materials, puppets and story bags that are used in teaching sessions.

You can explore the links between ICT and literacy through the department's Digital Blue cameras and electronic photo albums.

Mathematics Department

There are two dedicated teaching rooms for mathematics. The rooms make use of Promethean and Smart interactive white boards. Both rooms contain a library of recent and relevant publications as well as a wide range of resources for use while on teaching practice.

Trainees are supplied with the use of a laptop for the duration of the course. The laptops come with Autograph and Geometers Sketchpad software. There are a class set of iPads available for the teaching sessions.

Religious Education Department

This teaching room attempts to bring sacredness in its vicinities and a visitor will find precious collections of artefacts and devotional utilities, audio-visual resources, books, sacred texts and children's books from a range of religious traditions to support learning and teaching.

Early Years Department

As well as enjoying very strong links with local schools and specialist nurseries, we have a specialist teaching room that has a range of story sacks and puppets, an extensive selection of planning resources, copies of key texts, and toys and equipment that are relevant for foundation stage.

Music Department

The music department has two dedicated classrooms and seven practice rooms, five of which contain dedicated computer-based recording/sequencing equipment. There is also a fully equipped sound recording studio and Apple Mac computers for sound manipulation.

Drama Department

There is a fully equipped drama studio with stage lighting.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295